Hello Amit, please tell us about your journey from being an Asst Manager, International Business Unit at Larsen & Toubro Limited to becoming the Chief Marketing Officer at Zycus, and how do you evaluate your success?

Amit S

Over the past 2 decades, I have been extremely fortunate to have

1. Found great mentors who challenged me while also supported my growth 

2. Had diverse experiences across roles, industries, countries, and cultures

3. Managed to maintain a “student for life” attitude – allowing me to learn from both my hits & misses 

These have shaped me into the professional that I am today.

Please explain to our audience what Zycus Procure-to-Pay software is and how it has helped organizations in saving money, reducing risk, and improving compliance? 
Amit S

Zycus’ Procure to Pay (P2P) solution digitalizes the entire purchasing lifecycle for goods and services, enabling you to streamline workflows, expedite approvals, and eradicate errors and exceptions. By achieving 45-50% procurement efficiency gains, it helps you manage more spend with less effort, maximize savings, and meet demands with agility and speed.

Zycus’ P2P software is a comprehensive and integrated solution that provides end-to-end visibility across all stages of the procurement process, between POs, invoices, and goods receipt documents, and this substantially reduces the risk of manual error during processing. 

By ensuring that all internal stakeholders are buying through preferred, contracted suppliers, Zycus solution improves spend under management upto 90%. 

Its easy-to-use AI-powered UI provides Amazon like B2B UX and guarantees increased user adoption. It eliminates off-contract spending as requisitioners are steered to contracted catalogs/punchouts or guided eForms for non-catalog items/services. All this translates into real, hard dollar savings for organizations. 

Being an influential marketing expert, what are your predictions on how Digital Marketing will enhance the customer experience in the next few years?
Amit S

As consumers (B2C), we are increasingly relying on digital shopping for most categories of purchase, even in the B2B space, buyers or buying committees are increasingly preferring digital/virtual channels for research, demos, trials, and the actual purchase. This is already true for the SMB / lower value B2B segment and increasingly in the enterprise segment as well. 

The pandemic provided strong tailwinds to what was already an irreversible trend in buyer behavior. 

Brands have to offer customers what they need, where they need it, and how they need it. Digital marketing is therefore not an additional channel to supplement traditional marketing. I think this distinction should anyways be done away with. 

3 key themes are Emerging:

1. From CRM to CMR – Customer-managed relationship: We have seen “push” based content make way for client-initiated research. Offering as much content in an intuitive and easy-to-discover form will be the focus so that the customers (prospects) can decide with little or no “sales push”. 

2. Byte sized, hyper-personalized communication

3. Deeper and broader marketing stack – To support this, brands are increasingly moving their traditional mass media, and T&E spends to building a next-gen tech stack that enables the foregoing.

As Chief Marketing Officer at Zycus, you have run countless successful marketing campaigns. When you get multiple creative ideas from your team members, which approach do you take to zero down to the final one? 
Amit S

Innovation and agility are two core values that are deeply woven into everything we do here at Zycus. We encourage new ideas and creativity by encouraging experimentation and fast action with a lot of a/b testing. Drop what doesn’t work, scale what does. 

But what binds us all together is Customer Centricity. We filter all our initiatives wearing the “customer lens” – will this be useful or helpful to the customer. If Yes, let’s do it. If no, we resist the temptation of any short-term wins.  

Our marketing team is a good blend of creative right-brained, and analytical numbers-driven left brained thinkers. My personal goal is to encourage everyone to balance both these. 

Who do you think are the biggest competitors for Zycus in the industry, and how do you differ from them?
Amit S

Top industry analysts like Gartner and Forester have consistently recognized Zycus as a leader in the source-to-pay space. What truly sets us apart is our customer responsiveness, because we are a privately owned and self-funded company, we are able to be very agile and responsive to changing customer needs without being distracted or compelled by external market forces. 

This has allowed us to out-invest all other vendors when it comes to building a formidable next-gen solution. 50%+ of our investments are towards product and innovation. Merlin AI – our AI suite is an outcome of this approach, and as per customer and analyst views given us a multi-year lead over the rest of the pack. 

You’re an Artificial Intelligence expert, what according to you, are going to be the top Artificial Intelligence Trends that will enhance customer marketing in the upcoming years, and what do you mean when you say, “AI is a means to an end and not an end in itself”?
Amit S

Artificial intelligence can help marketers be more agile and give them the ability to process granular data to dig up patterns based on real-time consumer behavior and market changes. 

This can, in turn, help in crafting personalized, well-timed campaigns that hit the customer with the right messaging at the right time. The huge amount of data that is available in the realm of digital marketing can be fully leveraged with the help of AI. 

Another very valuable thing AI can help marketers do is aid decision-making and enable faster course correction while implementing marketing campaigns.

I think predictive analysis and marketing action that tries to pre-empt what customers will like/dislike, click on, purchase from, etc. – based on past behavior and real-time market changes, is what the near future of AI in Martech will look like. 

As businesses around the world are gradually coming out of the lockdown phase, how has your company prepared to deal with the after effects of Covid?
Amit S

We are ensuring that our virtual work infrastructure is robust and that delivery and support teams are well equipped to work and support customers and employees at all times. 

We are also maintaining a hyper-focus on agility and learning and development and upskilling – this, we believe, will help us outmaneuver the uncertainties that the future may bring. 

Uzma Abdulla is an Editorial & Content Coordinator for The Media Bulletin. Experienced with a demonstrated history of working in the marketing space. Skilled in strong program and project management. Master of Arts (M.A.) in Archaeology and Pursuing Post Graduate Diploma in Counselling. She likes to be on her toes when it comes to facilitating events and collaborating with people.

Posted in Interviews By Uzma Abdulla   Date August 31, 2021

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